Rodolfo Dordoni and Flos’ Elite Collection of Modernistic Lighting Designers

Rodolfo Dordoni and Flos' Elite Collection of Modernistic Lighting Designers - introducing the Flos Pochette up-down wall light, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni

Rodolfo Dordoni was born in Milan, just like the Castiglioni brothers before him.

There does seem to be something about this cultural hub of a city, steeped with an intricate history with Art that goes back to Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance Age. Milan still inspires some of the worlds best designers and artists who flourish in a variety of fields.

Like Tobia Scarpa, another pioneer of innovative designs including the iconic Flos Foglio Wall Light, Dordoni studied Architecture at the University of Venice. Once again there seemed to be cosmic forces moving these talented people along a certain path: re-inventing lighting for a new generation.

Dordoni is one of the younger designers to have been so heavily involved with this group of subversive and experimental designers and is happily still working today.

He has founded his own Studio in Milan, working on grand projects involving the interior designs of villas, showrooms, restaurants, hotels and the like.

The Italian modernist wave and where Dordoni fits in

Rodolfo Dordoni and Flos' Elite Collection of Modernistic Lighting Designers - the Flos Pochette up-down wall light, in chromeThe world of Lighting is grateful for the meeting of so many creative minds when Flos hired these prodigies. They collaborated wonderfully and provided us with some of the most beautiful lighting pieces, that have won countless awards.

These designs have stood the test of time, described as part of a new ‘Italian modernism’ that swept across Europe, and the world, in the 1970s and ’80s and still look timeless and innovative to this day.

Dordoni excelled straight from his graduation in 1979, going on to take responsibility for the fantastic Artemide collection.

Yet another artist for Artemide we here at Sparks appreciate is Michele De Lucchi, who pioneered a variety of handy yet eccentric desk-side lighting for the company.

He worked for a variety of huge Italian design companies of the time including some of the biggest names in Italian design, including Minotti.

Here he was quickly appointed and coordinator of all the company’s collections. His journey through the world of Italian design led him, perhaps inevitability, to Flos.

Dordoni’s breakout modernist piece with Flos: The Pochette Up and Down LED

Rodolfo Dordoni and Flos' Elite Collection of Modernistic Lighting Designers - the Flos Pochette up-down wall light, in chromeHis most famous and inspired work with Flos was the Pochette Up and Down LED, made in 2003. Like many of his Italian modernist peers, Dordoni embraced using new materials and technologies to construct retro-futuristic masterworks.

This wall lamp, capable of providing both indirect and direct light, was crafted with an ingenious understanding of form and its interactions with materials. The entire structure was composed of a pressure die-cast Zamak alloy, which boasts an impressive impact strength and corrosion resistance.

The alloy is complemented by moulded steel, galvanised by a white wall attachment containing all pertinent electrical devices. The bright overhead light is perfectly balanced by the light angled towards the floor.

Much like Neil Poulton’s well-renowned Surf Wall Light, Dordoni uses gently contoured lines, reminiscent of a cresting wave.

The result is a delightfully arched indoor light that will bring beautifully ambient light to your home decor, while also appearing to be charmingly ornamental in its design.

What draws such forward-thinking/ modernist artists to Flos: the incorporation of Arteluce

Rodolfo Dordoni and Flos' Elite Collection of Modernistic Lighting Designers - introducing the Flos Pochette up-down wall light in white, designed by Rodolfo DordoniAchille Castiglioni, the so-called ‘Godfather of Italian modernism’  and one of the main figures in Flos’ artistic leap in their breakout period, said that he

‘loved to subvert expectations and transform objects into something new’.

Flos has always fully welcomed this concept with open arms, as can be seen by the artistry of some of its designs. Their self-described ‘Flosophy’ states they believe in,

nurturing revolutionary spirits of our designers—we encourage them to seek out new poetic notions of functionality while staying ahead of the latest technological advancements.

This can largely be attributed towards the sale of premier lighting company Arteluce to Flos in 1973. Arteluce had been a breeding ground for great thinkers and architects, who had already begun turning their able design skills to experimenting with light as a form. Gino Sarffati, head of Arteluce, had already designed over 400 lighting products by the time of Flos’s takeover.

Flos cleverly incorporated many of Arteluce’s designs into their own product range and began to receive immediate plaudits. Although they had their roots in the late 50’s, they displayed a modern sensibility and finesse that was still relevant.

This forward-thinking attitude is what has attracted the some of the world’s best designers, including Dordoni to join their cause. They continue to push the boundaries of architecture, playfulness and style within an industry that is still lagging behind their most impressive feats.

This article was inspired by the following articles:
  • Picture of Rodolfo Dordoni via Flos.
  • The origins of Flos, and how Gino Saffati founded Italian modernism, On USA Flos.
  • Dordoni’s burgeoning relationship with Flos throughout the years on Dordoni’s personal website.
  • What Flos’ forward-thinking and accepting philosophy did for the world of lighting and the great artists they propelled on USA Flos.
  • Detailed information on how Italian artists and designers of the Italian modernist wave found Flos at deezen.